Friday, 13 January 2017


 I have been revising the poem featured in the last post. I was not happy with the character's motivation and felt that her back story needed to be more fully described. I think there is a fine line between giving just enough information and telling not showing. I hope I have not crossed it.
It is always illuminating to share your work with people you trust and respect. Just listening to someone else read your words aloud can be very useful. It was at the behest of the Secret Poets that I set to work to alter the poem.

Pinned by an arrow through her heart until it broke,
she had pulled herself off the splintered shaft
then considered the alternatives;
to settle for the less than perfect;
to mend and make do in this little town.
She got herself an education instead,
almost accidentally traced the currents in the confluence of events
that had led her and him to stand on that bridge,
fasten a padlock to the handrail
and each to cast their key into the sunset water,
for they knew they would never unlock their love.

Council cuts meant that the bridge went unpainted.
The allegedly rustless lock now tainted by atmosphere.
Her levering screwdriver dragged the shackle
screaming from an eight year sleep,
then it became a weight on her palm,
she turned her wrist,
the broken mechanism rushed towards the water.
There was hardly a ripple.
I also set to altering line lengths, which I think adds to the drama of the poem. A poem needs to breathe but still have its own dynamic. This can be a tightrope walking act.
Here is Midlake, sadly missed since Tim Smith was asked to leave the band. What a genius he is, and where is he now?

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